In this paper, the use of hemp fibers modified with graphite oxide for the removal of methylene blue (MB) from aqueous solutions was investigated. Parameters such as contact time, pH, temperature, initial concentration of dye and ionic strength were varied and their effects on the adsorption recovery were evaluated. The adsorption process attained the equilibrium within 30 min while the adsorption capacity was found to increase with increasing contact time. The experimental data were fitted through a pseudo-second order model. Maximum adsorption capacity slightly increases with temperature changing from 54 mg/g to 58 mg/g at pH = 7.5, from 37 mg/g to 45 mg/g at pH = 3 and from 44 mg/g to 49 mg/g at pH = 12, by increasing the temperature from 20 °C to 80 °C indicating that the process is slightly endothermic (ΔH = 3.43 kJ/mol). The thermodynamic parameters were even calculated demonstrating that the process is spontaneous (ΔG ≈ −4.4 J/mol K and ΔS = 3.16 J/mol K)). Finally, a mathematical algorithm was applied to forecast the response surface model. A second order model was chosen to fit the experimental data and the statistical effect of the process parameters were estimated. A numerical optimization was even performed to individuate the optimal set of process parameters (pH = 9.25, T = 53.8 °C and C0 = 13.2 mg/L) which maximizes the removal capacity. A possible adsorption mechanism was even presented. So, it was proved the efficiency of the adsorption of a novel, inexpensive and sustainable composite material obtained from agro-waste resources by performing reusability cycles.
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